OPINION / EDITORIAL
HarmonyOS sets a milestone in China's high-tech self-reliance: Global Times editorial
Published: Jun 03, 2021 12:40 PM
HarmonyOS

HarmonyOS

The Huawei HarmonyOS 2.0 operating system was officially launched on Wednesday night. This has caused strong repercussions around the world. HarmonyOS 2.0 is defined as a smart device operating system for the era of the Internet of Things (IoT). It can be used with mobile phones and all kinds of smart devices, and even cars. It has an advanced upgrade system that leaps ahead of the current mobile operating system.

This is undoubtedly a powerful counterattack and transcendence of the US' crackdown on Huawei and Chinese high-tech enterprises. We expect the market to react positively around it. That would be the real beginning of breaking the monopoly of Android and iOS over the operating system for mobile internet devices. 

Huawei has led the world in 5G network technology, and its concept of the IoT was formed earlier and more mature than Apple and Google. Thus, far from being just a simple replacement of products to deal with US sanctions, the HarmonyOS 2.0 has more advanced technology, and aims to perform an "overtake on the bend."

HarmonyOS is meaningful for China's profound technology development and establishment of IoT. It is especially significant for China's high-tech self-reliance. But relying on Huawei alone is far from enough if Chinese companies want to hold an operating system in their own hands. So it is sincerely hoped that other Chinese companies can support Huawei while they secure their own interests. 

China has been the world's largest market of smart devices. Meanwhile, the smart devices developed by China have become the prioritized target of US technology suppression against China. The US is eyeing on OS and chips as leverage. So it is imperative for China to achieve breakthroughs in these two key technologies. 

HarmonyOS 2.0 is designed for the global market. But China is undoubtedly the base for it to develop and grow strong. When more devices like mobile phones and cars and companies engage and install it, a new HarmonyOS ecosystem will evolve. And this ecosystem is bound to be international, and enter the arena against Android and iOS.

The development of HarmonyOS is also in line with the interests of other countries, including the Western nations. At present, the OS is generally in the hands of the Americans. The US' monopoly on it is even more thorough than on chips. HarmonyOS will bring about competition, and as such the US government and business giants will have a little more respect for all countries. The ability of countries and manufacturers to compete with the US will also greatly increase.

The most direct benefit to Chinese manufacturers will be that the US will no longer threaten to ban other Chinese mobile phones from installing Android. Instead, the US will take measures to prevent them from installing HarmonyOS. The possible situation will be this: the US will set up other coercive measures to try to prevent this from happening.

Some Chinese mobile phone manufacturers are worried that if they install the HarmonyOS, they will be "kidnapped" by Huawei. Such a concern is understandable. But the fact is those manufactures are now kidnapped by Google, the owner of Android. Without the HarmonyOS, Washington could at any time order Google to terminate its contract with other Chinese manufacturers - just as they sanctioned Huawei. The Chinese government is fully capable of ensuring the fairness of its domestic market and preventing Huawei from using its dominant position over HarmonyOS to harm the interests of other manufacturers. But the US' threat to China's high-tech industry is enduring.

The real competition here is between China and the US. HarmonyOS will trigger an unprecedented competition between Beijing and Washington, and it should never be an infight among Chinese manufacturers. The success of HarmonyOS is not just the business of Huawei. This is a common battle that the entire Chinese mobile internet and the IoT industry cannot afford to lose.
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